Last season, we saw an unlikely player win the MVP award.

Denver’s Nikola Jokic had his best NBA season ever by ranking in the Top 12 in points, rebounds, and assists. The Joker also led the Nuggets to the third-best record in the Western Conference to become one of the early favorites to win MVP honors.

Then after LeBron James and Joel Embiid got hurt, Jokic became the odds on favorite to win MVP honors. In the voting, he beat Embiid and Stephen Curry to become the first Denver Nugget to win the award, the third European MVP winner and the lowest-drafted MVP winner ever.

Enter the upcoming season and Jokic isn’t even in the Top 5 of the odds boards. With the stars who missed a huge part of last season due to injury expected to be back, this year’s MVP race should be a tight one with more than five players having a legit chance to win it next season.

On top of the list is Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic who continues to take the league by storm. Next on the list is Curry whom many felt deserved the award last season. Third is Giannis Antetokounmpo who was Finals MVP in Milwaukee’s championship run. Brooklyn’s gold medal-winning team captain Kevin Durant and Philadelphia’s Joel EMbiid complete the Top 5.

Here are the complete odds to win the MVP at the BetOnline as of 08/12/2021:

• Luka Doncic +450
• Stephen Curry +650
• Giannis Antetokounmpo +700
• Kevin Durant +750
• Joel Embiid +850
• LeBron James +900
• Damian Lillard +1200
• James Harden +1400
• Nikola Jokic +1400
• Jayson Tatum +1600
• Russell Westbrook +1600
• Trae Young +1600
• Devin Booker +2000
• Anthony Davis +2800
• Zion Williamson +2800
• Paul George +3300
• Bradley Beal +4000
• Donovan Mitchell +4000
• Ja Morant +4000
• Kawhi Leonard +4000
• Kyrie Irving +4000
• Khris Middleton +6000

Basketball Who Are the Favorites?

Luka Doncic (+450)

Luka Doncic  is coming off another sensational season where he ranked 6th in the league in scoring at 27.7 points per game, 5th in passing at 8.6 assists per game while also grabbing 8.0 rebounds per contest.

The 22-year old Slovenian Wunderkind made the All-Star team for the first time this past season and was named to the All-NBA First Team for the second straight year. Doncic also became the 4th fastest player to score 5,000 career points in the NBA after LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony.

Doncic was impressive once again during the playoffs but after taking a 2-0 series lead against the L.A. Clippers, they lost the series in seven games with Doncic scoring a playoff-career high 46 in a losing effort in Game 7.

Internationally, Doncic led Slovenia to the Olympics for the first time ever. They made a run to the final four but eventually finished 4th in their maiden appearance in the Summer Games. With Doncic already conquering the world stage, there’s a good chance that he will conquer the NBA next season.

Stephen Curry (+650)

Stephen Curry was the “people’s MVP” last season after almost single-handedly carrying the Golden State Warriors. Golden State opened the season as one of the early betting favorites to win the NBA title but after Klay Thompson suffered another season-ending injury, the Warriors struggled during the 2020-21 campaign but if there was a bright spot in their season, it was Steph Curry.

Coming off a hand injury that ended his 2019-20 campaign, Curry had one of the best scoring seasons of his NBA career. The Warriors’ two-time MVP led the league in scoring at 32.0 points per game while also averaging 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest.

Curry passed Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer while also eclipsing Kobe Bryant’s old-man streak of 30-point games and James Harden’s record for most three-pointers in a calendar month. Curry was named Player of the Month for April after averaging 37.3 points per game on 51% shooting while scoring 30+ points in 13 of 15 games during the month.

With Klay Thompson expected to return next season, the Warriors are one of the early favorites to win the 2022 NBA championship. If Golden State can find success to match Curry’s individual performance, he could win his third NBA MVP award next season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (+700)

Giannis Antetokounmpo silenced all his doubters last season. After winning back-to-back MVP awards from 2019-20 and taking Defensive Player of the Year honors as well last season, many wondered if he could lead a team to the NBA championship with his outside shot and free throw shooting still suspect.

But after the Bucks won the 2021 NBA title, Antetokounmpo proved that he can dominate the game, even in the playoffs and the Finals despite his limitations. Giannis was named Finals MVP for putting up one historic performance after another.

The Bucks eliminated the 2021 championship favorite Nets in a thrilling Game 7 where Antetokounmpo proved his worth in an epic one-on-one duel with Kevin Durant. And it wasn’t just that. Giannis suffered a leg injury that was first supposed to be serious. But he came back to finish the series and then went on to dominate in the Finals.

Antetokounmpo finished 5th in scoring at 28.1 points per game and he was one of three players in the league to be in the Top 15 in scoring while averaging a double-double. With his numbers continuing to improve year after year, there’s no doubt he will be in the MVP hunt again next season.

Basketball Best Value Bets

Damian Lillard (+1200)

Aside from Steph Curry, the one player who can go into video game mode and single-handedly carry his team to great heights is Damian Lillard. Lillard led the Blazers to a scintillating run to the Western Conference Finals three seasons ago. Although they were ousted in Round 1 in the previous two campaigns, the Blazers have changed their coach and could be playing with a better purpose this season.

Lillard ranked third behind Curry and Bradley Beal in scoring at 28.8 points per game while also averaging 7.5 assists per game. The 31-year old made a record 12 three-pointers while scoring 55 points in Game 5 of their first round series against the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, he lacked the support once again and they were eliminated by Denver.

There are unending rumors that he could be traded before the start of the season but the Blazers have denied that. As for his MVP chances, if Lillard can take the Blazers deep in the playoffs or if he gets traded to a successful contender, there’s no question his numbers and his game deserve a look when it comes to MVP honors.

James Harden (+1400)

Harden is the last piece of the Brooklyn Nets’ championship puzzle. After a tumultuous offseason, Harden forced the Houston Rockets to trade him to a contender. He got his wish and joined Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn to form a super team that became the odds on favorite to win the championship from the moment he became a Net.

One of the questions surrounding the Nets was whether their three stars could co-exist. The answer to that is a big yes and although injuries to the three stars forced them to play limited minutes together, the trio looked cohesive and deadly when playing altogether.

Among the three, it looked like Harden was the most comfortable in his role. Harden averaged 24.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game last season. If Harden can stay healthy and his superstar teammates will be healthy as well, there’s no question that the Nets are going to be the team to beat next season.

Devin Booker (+2000)

Ok now, I know you are surprised. But after their run to the 2021 NBA Finals, I am convinced that Devin Booker is ready to blossom into a star in the league, and his failures last season will only make him better.

D-Book averaged 23.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game last season and led the Suns to the second-best record in the entire NBA. Although credit should be given to Chris Paul for being the team’s leader on and off the court, Booker flourished playing alongside Paul and was able to concentrate on what he does best- score points.

With Chris Paul returning to Phoenix and Deandre Ayton also coming out of his shell last season, Phoenix should be in the mix for the title. As for Booker, I think there is no one on the Suns who is aching to get back in the Finals than him, even perhaps more than CP3.

Basketball Who Wins?

It’s too early to place a bet really because as we saw last season, injured could change the entire picture. But in a perfect world where all MVP candidates do not suffer injuries, I will have to go with Luka Doncic.

I mean it’s not sound to bet on the odds on favorite when there’s plenty of betting value around but I think Doncic is special. After losing in the playoffs, he went to help Slovenia qualify for the Olympics and led them to a 4th place finish in their first-ever appearance.

It’s been a career of breaking records and being the first to accomplish this feat and that. Luka Magic is real and barring any significant injury, he could be the next winner of the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Prediction: Luka Doncic

Place Your Bets Now!

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *